Happiness : A Conditioned Feeling
Happiness; a passing feeling with condition
Most people associate happiness with fulfillment of life. Of course, if you are perpetually happy, I am sure your life is fulfilled. But then again, is this possible? Can you ever find a person who is perpetually happy? Even if sad events beset him? Happiness is a conditioned feeling. Happiness requires specific conditions. Only when these conditions are present, can we be happy. Let's take money. I certainly will be very happy if I got plenty of money. If this condition persists, do you think you will be very happy with money alone? No you won't. This is because happiness is actually not having plenty of money per se.
Initially money was the condition that made us happy. Then money becomes just a means for us to seek happiness. We will want a beautiful house by the beach, and the latest and fastest cars to complement our desires. Then we become happy again. This type of happiness is subject to the "law of diminishing returns." After awhile, these prevailing conditions no longer tantalize our senses and we begin to get bored. These seemingly heavenly conditions no longer create happiness for us. So what do we do next?
Please read on.
Happiness is a conditioned state of mind
Happiness is a conditioned feeling. The feeling feeds on this specific condition to stay happy; to be in a state of happiness. After awhile this mental state will become bored with the same condition; and the person wil be back to square one, seeking new conditions to be happy again. Without new "happy" conditions, the person is said to become "not happy." Anyone who seeks or chases after happiness in this manner will be very disappointed in the end. This is because the same "happy" condition cannot last for ever.
This does not mean that we should not seek happiness and be happy. The warning is that this state of happiness is not permanent and at any time conditions may change. Even if there is no change, our happy feeling will wane in time if these conditions just stay on without change.
To the wise, seeking happiness in this manner is not the solution to be really "happy".
Then what should we seek?
Savour happiness; treasure contentment
Savour every moment of happiness. Be happy when conditions are right, but be careful when conditions are not right. We have to ride through the waves of life; the ups and downs.
Contentment is the real treasure to a "happy" life. Be contented with what we already have. This does not mean that we should not seek greater heights in life. Just be happy with what we already have while we continue to improve our life.
Since happiness is a conditioned feeling, we cannot be happy if sad events occur. To be happy if our loved one dies is crazy, isn't it?
What then is real "happiness?"
This is real happiness
Some are born lucky with everything provided for in life. Many have "arrived" in life through various means. But many are still not happy. So happiness cannot be solely dependent on physical things.
Real happiness is when one experiences peace within oneself, with contentment and equanimity of mind. It is this inner peace that one can feel and maintain in the presence of diverse conditions. "Inner peace" calls for the depletion of greed and hatred. Greed and hatred are the twin poisons which destroy our state of happiness.
We need the strength and resilience to cultivate the right approach to feel happiness inside us. We can then be wise enough to respond appropriately to the vaious vicissitudes of life.
It is not easy, I know. But I try my best not to be negative and unhappy, even though my life is not a bed of roses. The least I can do is to remind myself to be happy for one important thing in my life, and that is, I am in good health. For I know exactly how miserable it is to be sick, real sick. My son has Wegener's disease. So please, if you think you have nothing to be happy about, at least be happy that you are healthy.
Dalai Lama's guide to happiness
"Being Happy Will Suffice"
Now let me share with you a very popular song sung in my dialect, or more precisely the Taiwanese Hokkien dialect. The title of the song is "Being Happy Will Suffice". The singer is the popular Taiwanese by the name of Chen Lei. The English translation of the lyrics is given below. They are real gems of life. Last count of the youtube video is over 1.9 million views! The video is below this paragraph.
Music is universal. So if nothing else, just enjoy the happy beats of the song. You will be happy listening to this song, I bet.
Hua Hee Tio Ho (Being Happy will Suffice/高兴就好)
Life is such...
Not everyone understands...
Sometimes very particular...
Other times whatever...
While some people speaks nicely
There will be others who speak nastily
But if we don't take them too seriously
Life would be much more easy
One moment feels that car not big enough
One moment feels that house not spacious enough
One moment feels that dishes are not well cooked
One moment feels that your spouse is not attractive
When gotten big car, one fears it being stolen
When gotten big house, one realizes the pain in keeping it clean
When gotten all the good food in the world, one is told that one has high blood pressure
When gotten a beautiful wife, one fears she will elope with someone better
Life is short...
Liken it to a game...
Sometimes you worry all day...
Sometimes you slack all the way...
If you ask me,
What treasure do I have with me..
I will tell you there is nothing...but contentment...that is bliss
Being Happy Will Suffice (Hua Hee Tio Ho / 高兴就好)
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